It happens at every party: guests mingle, put down their drinks and later are not sure which glass was theirs. So they go and get a new beverage. There is a simple and whimsical way to avoid this. Color coded drink markers. For cocktails just use different stirrers, beer glasses can be personalized with adhesives. Wine glasses on the other hand deserve more style. Their stems downright call for some fancy adornments.
Surprisingly, while there is a decent selection of wineglass markers available on the internet, they are quite elusive at most stores. However they can be a quick and easy DIY project. Make them for your next party or as a host/ess gift or stocking stuffer come Christmas time.
I’ve been making this beaded model in numerous variations. Thanks to its wire base it attaches to the glass by a simple twist. Follow the step-by-step instructions to copy it or use it as inspiration for your own creation.
You will need thin pliable wire and for each marker beads from within the same color family in different sizes. In addition I used the same clear beads and silver sequins for all color variations.
Start by cutting off two lengths of wire, 18 – 20 cm each. Thread a small bead on each, folding back the end of the wire, about 1 cm.
Join the wires and continue with a sequin, a large bead and another sequin.
Maintain the joined wires and create a pattern with small and medium sized beads for about 8 – 9 cm. Finish with another large bead between two sequins.
Separate the wires and repeat the design of the opposite end.
This is the tricky part: tuck the remaining wire into the preceding beads.
Voilà. Your first marker is done.
Repeat with different colors.
Enjoy this playful little project which can be completed in a small amount of time.
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Advent calendars are a tradition every child in Germany and many other European countries grows up with. To shorten – and sweeten – the sheer endless wait before Christmas, they receive a small gift every day from December 1st to 24th.
The classic version is a flat box featuring a Christmas scene with 24 perforated numbered windows, each of which hides a piece of chocolate or candy. You can find a huge variety of these in supermarkets and chocolate stores.
More and more people all over the world have embraced the idea, its appeal has broadened to kids of all ages, different gifts have joined the conventional sweets. As for the calendar itself: the sky – and your imagination – is the limit. More complex creations can become a family tradition in their own right, year after year they take center stage holding new surprises every Holiday season.
Simplicity on the other hand doesn’t mean you have to forego charm or originality. In case you got interested here are 10 ideas for last minute projects. For most of them the materials you need are likely right at your fingertips or an inkjet printout away.
ONE – Graphic Black and White Folding Cards
A printer and scissors are all you need for this eye catching and quick project with folding cards. Due to the format vouchers, quotes or other gifts on paper are indicated. The background can be anything, a picture frame as seen here, a piece of fabric, your fridge or just the bare wall. Alternatively you can combine the graphics as tags or stickers with other ideas.
TWO – Cloth pin Calendar
Paint wooden cloth pins red and white and/or decorate with washi tape. Attach to cardboard or wooden board. Add numbers. Hang a wrapped gift from each pin.
THREE – A Medley of Gifts Suspended from a Rough Stick
Maybe you own a stick of wood picked up during a walk in the countryside or trimmed off a tree in your garden. If not, substitute with a length of pipe or an unused curtain rod. Wrap the gifts in differently sized and shaped packages, number them and hang from the stick. Adhere to one color scheme, this will create a pleasing visual effect.
FOUR – From Matchbox to Gift Box
Wrap the sleeves of matchboxes with paper or fabric, fasten number tags with a string or thin ribbon, use a mason jar to corral all boxes.
FIVE – May I Borrow Your Muffin Tin?
A mini muffin tin has 24 openings, making it a perfect base for an advent calendar. Insert small gifts into the holes and cover with felt or cardboard.
SIX – Upcycle Toilet Paper Rolls
Toilet paper rolls can be easily transformed into pillow boxes. Decorated with washi tape, string and number stickers they are perfect containers for your gifts.
SEVEN – Brown Paper Bags on a String
These unadorned bags are simple yet surprisingly sophisticated. Of course you can always add a touch of color (see above).
EIGHT – Make a Gift Chain
Attach all your gifts to form a chain. Obviously the numbers will have to be in sequence from the bottom up. Use the same colors in different patterns throughout and tie with the same string or ribbon top to bottom.
NINE – Hang Fabric Pouches from a Ladder
Sew red and white fabric pouches, add numbers and tie them on a wooden ladder. Don’t have a ladder? Suspend them from a banister or a curtain rod.
TEN – A Shabby Chic Advent
A wire coat hanger and gift boxes and bags in white and natural colors give this calendar shabby chic appeal.
Now that you have plenty of inspiration as to what your Advent calendar should look like, you still need to decide what goes inside all those boxes and bags.
Vouchers are a great idea, for example breakfast in bed, candle light dinner, household chores, massage, restaurant, movies, ….
For the special person in your life: 24 x “I love you, because ….”
Taylor your gifts for people with specific hobbies: recipes for a cooking enthusiast, plant seeds for the friend with a green thumb, ….
For kids: activities that can be done together, like baking cookies, reading a story, making X-mas ornaments, playing games, …..
Of course the internet is loaded with ideas, I liked some of these.
I hope I got your creative juices flowing. If you enjoyed reading please feel free to sign up for e-mail notification or follow me on facebook.
When purchasing material for a craft or sewing project chances are you buy a little extra – just to be on the safe side. If you are like me, you’re incapable of throwing out these remnants and probably have several boxes filled with leftover fabrics, scraps of ribbons and lace, an assortment of mismatched beads and miscellaneous other odds and ends.
The other day I needed to make candle holders for a table decoration. An excellent opportunity to take stock. I found some glass jars, a length of lace, added raffia and beads, and in no time had produced five pretty little receptacles for tea candles.
It takes surprisingly small amounts of material and little time to transform a humble jar into a charming candle holder. Mixing different materials only adds to the appeal. Burlap with lace, a delicate translucent fabric with raffia …. Add some beads, shells or sea glass for a unique piece. It also makes a great hostess gift for a garden party – if you can bear to part with it.
Inspired? I would love to see your creations!
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You are invited to a dinner party and don’t want to arrive empty handed – a bottle of wine or another beverage is an obvious choice for a gift. Or perhaps one of your friends is a wine enthusiast and you want to present him with that special bottle for his birthday.
You can a) go with the bag from the store – advertising and all; b) buy a wine bag with a nice print ; or c) get creative and produce a distinctive gift wrap that might well turn into a conversation starter at the get together.
Here are some ideas I found around the web. Some simple, some sophisticated, some whimsical, some a little more challenging to execute – but all of them imaginative and unique.
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String lights are ubiquitous throughout the Christmas season, only to be stowed away for the rest of the year. A pity really. They provide a soothing soft light, are inexpensive and with a little imagination can be used in myriad ways, be it as a permanent feature of your home decor or to add a special effect for a party or event or even that romantic moment for two.
Allow yourself to be inspired by the ideas below. The possibilities are endless …
Like I said, these are just some inspirations to get your creative juices flowing. Have fun. And feel free to send me your comments or feedback.
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As I come from a northern country the Holiday Season for me is synonymous with winter, freezing temperatures and early dusk. Drinking hot wine while at the same time warming your hands on the cup at a romantic Christmas market with snow falling quietly around you. Choosing and bringing home a real tree that fills the house with that unmistakable pine smell that cannot be reproduced from a spray can. Inviting friends for a tree trimming party followed by fondue and red wine in a cozy candle lit atmosphere. And, if you are lucky, waking up on Christmas morning to a white winter wonderland outside your window.
After all these years living in Brazil I still haven’t got used to a tropical Christmas. It doesn’t help that seasonal decoration and shop displays try hard to evoke that traditional northern feel. Santa sweating in his red suit as he arrives on a sleigh under a palm tree, artificial snowmen sitting in the sun at 30°C, “icicles” suspended from lush green trees.
Most years I forego the Christmas decoration at our house all together – I admit it, sometimes I simply forget. However when I decide to add some Holiday cheer I deliberately eschew the more classical approach. Below are some creative and eye catching suggestions, most are easy to make and won’t break the bank.
As for my own decor for the upcoming Holidays – I’m still sitting on the fence ….
For image sources please click on the number below each picture.
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A few weeks ago I posted some charming ideas about giving a second chance to those multipaned windows often discarded during renovation. I have a weakness for mirrors, I find it intriguing how they open new perspectives in an otherwise restricted space. That’s why the mirror window on a garden wall caught my attention. Here it is again:
The entrance to our house is a narrow walled passage, a place that definitely can benefit from a little extra perspective. I figured this would be the perfect spot to recreate this concept. Here it is – alas at the moment it is still a fairly poor imitation of the original …
The rain season is bound to start soon, and I hope the plants will grow in nicely then (and maybe our cat will even stop destroying the orchids as she keeps climbing up the tree ….). So I thought it might be interesting to post a picture every six months or so to keep track on how things are changing. Stay tuned.
Multi paned windows are a signature feature of the Portuguese colonial architecture in Brazil, they are also common in traditional farmhouses in the US and many European countries. Often they get replaced during renovation and can be picked up for a song at salvage yards.
They can be repurposed in a great number of ways, adding a touch of shabby chic to a home – here are just a few inspirations. Hope this gets your creative juices flowing.
There is no such a thing as too many hooks around the house. Kitchen, bathroom, bedroom – you name it – they all can profit from an extra place to hang your stuff. While there are countless options you can find in stores, here are some creative ideas for making your very own, some of them with little or no cost and a minimal investment of time.
Waxcloth is part of my childhood memories: a succession of brightly patterned tablecloths covered our kitchen table, where I not only ate all my meals, but also spent countless afternoons struggling with my homework ….
Thanks to modern printing techniques today’s version of the material comes in an incredible variety of photorealistic prints and vibrant colors.
While some of the patterns may be a little too overwhelming for a tablecloth in your minimalist designer kitchen, they are great when used on a smaller scale and in unexpected contexts.
One of my favorite waxcloth projects are tote bags – besides being cheerful they are sturdy, water resistant and easy to clean. My version has two zippered pockets and a magnetic snap closure and is lined with colorful cotton fabric. I’ve made quite a number of them over the years, here are some of the more recent ones.
Photographed on the grounds of beautiful Pousada do Capão, São Gonçalo do Rio das Pedras, Serro, MG. For more info on the inn go to www.pousadacapao.com
If you’re lucky you may still find some of these bags at their store Secos e Molhados.